Is Amr Moussa the right candidate to become Egypt's next president?

March 2, 2011 - 0:0

A committee of experts proposed two amendments to revise the constitution so that Egypt's president would not be able to exceed two terms of four years each in office, and that conditions of candidacy for the presidency will be relaxed. According to Sobhi Saleh, a member of that committee, a lawyer and former member of the Muslim Brotherhood, these amendments must be submitted to a referendum which could take place before the end of the month of March.

Under the present constitution, currently suspended by the military, the president could stand indefinitely with each presidential term lasting six years. The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces said it could continue to lead the country over a period of the next six months or until the holding of parliamentary and presidential elections.
With these changes in mind, Arab League President Amr Moussa, 74, declared on Sunday, February 27th, that he intended to run for president, as reported by state news agency, MENA. He said that a 'formal announcement will be made in due course.' His term as head of the Arab League officially ends this May, and in the weeks leading up to Mubarak's fall, he had made it known that a presidential candidacy for him might be a reality, and that he wished to monitor the evolution of 'political developments'.
Amr Moussa was one of the first to raise great concern for the 'Arab anger' he sensed during an Arab economic summit in Sharm el-Sheikh. It was also at this time that Tunisian President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali had fled the country after caving to popular pressure. Tunisia remains as the inspiration for subsequent popular demonstrations throughout the Middle East and North Africa. Egyptian youth had been preparing for its own revolution which broke out on January 25, 2011 and continued for 18 days until President Hosni Mubarak resigned.
Amr Moussa is Egyptian and is well liked by his countrymen, largely because of his scathing criticism of Israel, a country seen by most Egyptians as an enemy despite the 1979 peace treaty between the two neighbors. Prior to becoming president of the Arab League, he served under Mubarak for ten years as his foreign minister. He tested his popularity by joining the crowds at Tahrir Square one evening, and heard chants of 'we want you to be president'.
Also on Sunday, Moussa met with visiting U.S. senators John McCain and Joe Lieberman; they toured Tahrir Square together.
The dynamics of the cold peace treaty with Israel may change if Moussa gets elected. He is the only figure to enjoy popularity both at home and abroad, whereas U.S. favorite ElBaradei is not as well known in his home country, as he has been outside Egypt most of the time. ElBaradei was also the first to call on Mubarak to step down. (